A/N: Hey, I just found this in my comp and decided to post it...Enjoy. ^_

Summary: After Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor and weds Arwen, Legolas begins to draw away from him. He avoids his old best friend, and instead starts to nurture a deepening friendship with the prince Faramir. Elessar is hurt more and more by Legolas' cold shoulder, while Legolas weeps for him unbeknowst to anyone else. And poor Farmair is just trying to make sense of it all and hold onto the two of the truest friends he's ever had and not lose their cherished loved. What will become of them all?

Hearts of Glass

Chapter I.
The Crownless Again Shall Be King

The light in Legolas' pale blue eyes diminished as his faint smile died. He watched as the King Elessar reclaimed his beloved Evenstar, yet somehow he could not find it in his heart to rejoice for them. Something had finally registered in the Elf's mind. Before him, Elessar stood as king of Gondor with his queen and all that had needed to be accomplished already was. No longer was his best friend just a ranger of the north. No longer was he Aragorn, Son of Arathorn. Nay, now he was a king. Legolas, crown prince of Mirkwood, knew it when Aragorn had found him in the crowd only moments ago. Something had glimmered in the new king's gray eyes then, when they fell upon the Greenleaf of Eryn Lasgalen. What that glimmer had been, Legolas could not tell. Perhaps it was gladness. Perhaps it was rememberance. Perhaps it was something without a name.

Aragorn had not seen Legolas in such a manner for many long years. He was so used to the Elf clad in the browns and greens that he was so fond of, the garb that had carried Legolas through the days of the Fellowship. Yet this day, his true splendor had been revealed. Aragorn had spotted his best friend easily to his left, at the head of a small band of Elves. Legolas stood tall and regal amonsgt all the rest, with a light upon his sweet head as Aragorn had only seen in his own infancy and in Lothlorien. His hair was once again a cascade of silk that washed over his slim shoulders and shone in the sunlight, silver-gold. He was clad in silver that mimicked mithril itself, with a brooch at his neck. His pale face was more fair than the mortal had ever seen, and it nearly left him breathless. Legolas smiled at him with a great subtlety, his beloved blue eyes beaming at the newly crowned king. Such a love there had been in the prince's face that Elessar could only look upon him with the same tenderness and offer a small smile. Yet what stood out the most about his sworn brother was the Elven circlet of silver that graced Legolas' brow, a mark of the prince that he truly was. The Elf hardly ever wore it, for he was reluctant to assume his rank in public. It only enhanced his angelic beauty.

Legolas had soundlessly approached the king, both wearing the same faint smiles. They clasped each other's shoulder, as they had done so many times before. What was there to say? Legolas would not speak before the king, and Elessar knew this. There was too much, he thought. Aragorn only gazed into the ethereal light of the archer's eyes for a long moment, as time stopped in the gentle rain of white rose petals. They had not needed words. Their eyes conveyed what words could not. Legolas had been inclined to bow his head modestly before the king, yet Elessar had known of it and had maintained his locked gaze.

//"Hannon le,"// the king had murmured. //Thank you.//

Legolas' smile had deepened, and he had given Elessar a broken look. The angel uttered not a word in his velvet voice. He had only stepped aside, knowing full well who awaited the king behind him. He watched as Elessar stood across from Elrond and a grand, white banner of Gondor. Yet in a slow moment, the standard was moved to reveal none other than Undomiel bearing beauty that supassed all others. The two lovers had reunited with tears of joy to accompany their laughter. Legolas stood forgotten beneath the White Tree, white petals nestling in his hair. The same sadness that filled all Elven beauty returned to him, and yet he smiled still. He knew that brotherhood and friendship would fall beneath duty and love now. What more was left to him but to go back to Mirkwood and attempt to pick up the pieces of his life from where he had abandoned them a year ago?

Legolas' pale eyes looked over the throng of people for a moment, and who would they happen to fall on but Faramir, Steward of Gondor. The brother of Boromir brought a pain to Legolas' chest. He looked so much like his late older brother. Yet there was something different to Faramir as well. He looked more passive than Boromir, more gentle and perhaps even shy. For some reason, Legolas had a strong impulse that the young Steward was a kindred spirit.

Faramir stood tall beside Eowyn, and Legolas knew of their love. The White Tree shone upon his silver breast plate, and Legolas knew that the same love for Gondor beat inside his chest as it had in Boromir's. But the only child of Thranduil also knew of the tragic life Faramir had thus far led, always the neglected shadow in light of his elder brother. The tale of Denethor, though Legolas had never seen the late Steward before, was one that caused the tender Elf's heart to ache. The man had taken his own life in his madness, and Faramir had nearly perished along with him. Besides that, Denethor had not openly loved his younger son until death arrived.

"Oh, Legolas, "Pippin had sighed a few days before when all the Fellowship had been
reunited. "You should have seen it." Each of the remaining eight were telling their tales
to one another. "Poor Faramir....He was just standing there about to cry when Denethor
spoke those horrible words to him."

Pippin had sounded truly grieved as he told this to the Elf, for the Hobbit had come to love Faramir as deeply as all the people of Gondor.

"What words, Pippin? "Legolas had asked.

"He said he wished Faramir had died in Boromir's place," the Hobbit had whispered.

Legolas had said nothing to this. How could any parent say such a thing to their child? He imagined how wounded Faramir must have been. The Elf did not doubt that the Steward's son was still bleeding.

As the golden prince stood there alone, gazing down upon Faramir, a desire leapt up in his chest like a flame. In his the midst of his mind, a vision came unto him. He was immersed in a great and beautiful forest, with every shade of green surrounding him. With soundless footsteps, he crept past towering trees to kneel beside a magnificent stag that lay dying from a hunter's arrow. His slender hands reached out like those finely sculpted ones of an angel. They came to rest upon the animal's soft coat, and he hushed it quietly when it writhed beneath his touch. His hands ran over it with the love he carried for all things living and wild. The stag's shivers slowly faded until it lay still and calm at the ministrations of the Elf.

"Faramir," Legolas whispered in reality. His new desire was to heal this mortal in both heart and spirit - to show him, who had hardly had love before, love for the remainder of his days. A voice in the back of his mind tried to remind him of the truth.

//"You cannot replace Aragorn."// The light in his eyes flinched. //" You would not be fair to Faramir by using him as a consolation prize. He deserves a brother who loves him freely, as Boromir once did - not one who needs to nurse his own wounds."//

"He knows not even my face," Legolas muttered to himself, observing Faramir. He had only heard of Denethor's youngest from others' and had never formally met. Pippin and Gandalf had told of Faramir's charge on Osgiliath and how he had been the only one of his men to survive the suicidal mission. The man was obviously a great warrior, and Legolas was curious to discover if Faramir's famed archery skills were any match for his own.

The sound of all the throng bowing at once to the Hobbits brought him out of his reverie. He looked to his four small friends with a true smile, and joined in bowing unto them. A long moment later, all rose, and it was not long before the coronation was declared finished and the king led his small band of loved ones into the palace for the feast.

Prince Legolas of Eryn Lasgalen was seated at the right hand of the king, with Lady Arwen on Elessar's left. The Hobbits were side by side next to her and across from himself. Eowyn and Eomer strode in, arms linked, and seated themselves next to Legolas. The Elf looked over at the White Lady curiously, who smiled like she never had before. There was one chair left empty between them. The prince looked expectantly at his other best friend, besides Aragorn, as the Dwarf plodded inside. Yet Gimli sat down next to Eomer. The Elf's gaze turned to dissapointment. He wished he would have Gimli to converse with during the meal, suspecting that Elessar would be quite preoccupied with Arwen and the Hobbits. Gandalf, tall wizard that he was, appeared in the midst of the people in his white raiment with a twinkle in his eye and a broad grin to match. The twins gave Legolas indentical smiles as they sat down simultaneously beside each other next to the Hobbits. He returned it weakly as Elessar chatted quietly with Arwen like two lovebirds in spring. The Hobbits were already laughing amongst themselves. Legolas could hear Gimli and Eomer starting up their conversation and wondered when the issue of Galadriel's beauty would come up. In the midst of all this, Legolas sat quietly, feeling very much alone.

"Seat taken?"

The Elf was snapped out of his melancholy reverie by a hopeful voice. He turned his head to look up at who was looming over him and nearly froze in surprise. Faramir was waiting patiently for the archer to answer with a shy blush in his kind face.

"Nay, you may have it," Legolas told him after collecting himself.

Faramir smiled warmly at him. "Thank you." He sat down in one sweeping motion, every bit of the Man he was. With his silver Gondorian armor and vast blue cloak that flowed from his shoulder and fell over the sides of the chair and onto the floor, he looked ominous and almost menacing beside the slender Elf prince who sat only in his silver tunic and leggings. Yet his garments belied his temperment. His gentle, passive soul was clear in his blue eyes. At least, it was to Legolas.

Faramir turned away from the Elf for a moment to exchange words with Eowyn, his beloved - though no one knew of it yet. They beamed at each other, both being truly happy for the first time in their entire lives. Their joy rivaled that of Elessar and Arwen. Legolas returned to sitting still and silent with head bowed. He wandered into thought for a while, lost track of time and what ever was taking place around him.

"You look like you're being a bit neglected." He looked up again into Faramir's friendly face.

"Neglected? "Legolas echoed. "Nay. I am perfectly content with my thoughts."

"Oh," Faramir said quietly, looking a bit taken aback. They both looked away into their laps for an awkward pause.

"I don't believe we've formally met," Faramir began again. Legolas looked back to him, trying very hard not smile. He was being so obvious with his eagerness to speak with the Elf. "I'm Faramir, Steward of Gondor. "Legolas knew this already, of course. He sensed that Faramir was a bit uncomfortable with calling himself Steward.

"Pleased to meet you," the blonde said with a polite nod. "I am Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood."

Faramir's eyes widened, and he looked like a doe about to be shot. He shrank back a bit in his seat, the color rising in his cheeks. He bowed his head low before the Elf.

"My apologies, Your Highness. I did not know your identity," Faramir muttered somberly.

Now 'twas Legolas who blushed. "If you did not know, you have no need to apologize.
It's all right. I don't even know why I mentioned it; I don't like to acknowledge my rank."

Faramir straightened once more, yet now regarding Legolas with stiff respect. They paused for a moment, as servants approached from behind with jugs of wine and filled all of the goblets. The minute they had fallen back, Legolas brought the jewel encrusted goblet to his lips and drank deeply. Faramir took a small sip before setting his back on the table. The Elf lowered his as well and dried the rim of wine above his lip with his napkin.

"The king has excellent wine," Faramir remarked, trying to rekindle the conversation.

"Tis from my father's store," Legolas said. "I have missed it greatly this past year."

Faramir again had that expression upon his face as if he wanted to crawl beneath a rock and die. He was mentally kicking himself. "My compliments," he mumbled to the prince, trying to be as polite as humanly possibly. He quickly took another drink. Legolas tried not to laugh. Yet another pause of silence between them ensued.

"I - I hope you don't mind me saying this, "Faramir started, his voice almost shaking. "I don't intend any disrespect in the least. I really don't mean to be forward with you either." Legolas had hardly seen anyone more nervous. Faramir was //rambling.// He stopped for a moment.

"You are very beautiful," Faramir murmured for only Legolas to hear. Again, the Elf blushed.

"I have hardly seen any Elves before," Faramir admitted. "You and your kindred are
astonishingly lovely. The Lady Arwen is more magnificent a lady than I have ever seen."

"Thank you for your compliments," Legolas said sincerely. Faramir's flattering words were not misplaced. Legolas was indeed one of the most beautiful beings in all the world, especially on this day. Faramir nodded. The first course of the meal was brought out to them, and they both began to eat without conversation for a while. "How do you fare?" Legolas asked softly. Faramir glanced at him, sipped his wine, and looked back.

"I am well," he reassured. "The king is a gifted healer." Legolas nodded but told him he was most welcome to call the king Aragorn, for the Elf knew his best friend considered the Steward a friend already. Faramir smiled and nodded at this. Of course, in public, formality had to be upheld. Yet at a gathering such as this, with only Elessar's family and friends, he could be Aragorn once again. The Elf proceeded to remark that he had expierienced first hand the healing powers of the king, more than once. Faramir had to stop himself from gawking longer than a moment. He could hardly imagine a creature as sacred as an Elf like Legolas ever coming to harm, although he well knew what skilled and involved warriors the Elves were. Once the two, shy beings opened up, they conversed for hours at the table, not unlike the rest they shared it with. Faramir would let himself laugh in a minor uproar at the Elf's wit, while Legolas would keep his laughter to quiet melodies. By the time dessert was presented, the prince had quite forgotten about feeling neglected. Faramir felt all the more wanted with this new friend, adding to his joy over finding Eowyn. And though Aragorn was occupied mostly by his queen, he would turn his attention to Legolas and Faramir at times. Faramir would return the king's smiles shyly, while Legolas would beam with mirth and wine. Aragorn had never known a more heavenly feeling then to have everything right with the world, his beloved Arwen by his side, and his friends surrounding him.

"Legolas," he addressed his best friend, who turned from Faramir to look at him. The king had laid his hand upon the Elf's arm and was looking at him with glittering eyes. "Come." He rose from his seat, Arwen smiling knowingly as she followed him with her gaze, and led Legolas away from the noisy dinner table. Faramir sipped his wine again and nodded at the queen politely, inwardly nervous as hell.

Aragorn took Legolas outside, into the fresh evening and onto the terrace. Once they both stood at the banister, the glass doors shut behind them, the king pulled the archer into an embrace. Legolas was taken by surprise, Aragorn's arms wrapped tightly around his lithe frame, yet he encircled the man in his own arms after a moment.

"I have never known more happiness," the kind began. "And it would not be complete without you, gwadornin." Legolas closed his eyes and pressed Aragorn closer against him, gripping his shoulders. It seemed as if they remained this way for a lifetime, yet they did come apart. The archer told the king he was happy for him, and the king gave his thanks. Nothing was mentioned about the Elf's feelings at the coronation, or his fear of neglect. Legolas did not want to dampen his spirits.

"Will you stay?" Aragorn questioned him, looking like an eager child. Legolas' heart softened, yet he answered that he would have to return home, like the rest of them, at least for a time. Aragorn understood, and Legolas promised to return as soon as possible.

"You should spend time with Faramir," Legolas suggested. "He is a man of quality, and he is in need of new relationships." Aragorn nodded, somewhat heavily, for he knew of the Steward's dark past. He assured the prince he would seek Faramir out. The two of them stood in silence, leaning over with their elbows on the banister as they stared out at the star-strewn sky.